St Matthew’s, Rosslyn Chapel
Quietness by Candlelight, Sunday 28th April 2013, 5pm
Led by: a woman who didn’t introduce herself by name
When I looked on the website for St Matthew’s, Rosslyn Chapel, a few weeks ago, it said that during British summer time the Office of Compline would be celebrated at 5pm on the last Sunday of every month. What could be more sublime than hearing “Before the Ending of the Day” echoing round the ornate vaults of that architectural gem? I was looking forward to this.
When I looked at the website again last Saturday, it had been updated and what was now billed was “Quietness by Candlelight, a reflective service with music and meditation”. Nothing daunted, I decided to give this a go, but it turned out to be a much lower-key affair than I’d been expecting.
- some hesitant arpeggios on an electric organ
- reading from Revelation 21:1-6
- reading from a book called “All will be well” by Joan Wilson, whose daughter Marie was killed in the Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen in 1987
- seven minutes of “quiet time” during which we were invited to light candles – I didn’t
- a prayer for peace in Syria, Afghanistan, Korea and elsewhere, followed by another trite little prayer in badly scanned greetings-card rhyme format
- more hesitant organ music, this time with crunchy little chords
Lacklustre is the word that springs to mind. Luckily it was all over in 22 minutes.
There were eight of us altogether: the leader, the organist, the page turner, two regulars and three visitors. Would Compline have drawn a bigger crowd?